I wrote here about the fact that many “mainstream” organizations were silent in the face of the Gazans’ genocidal attack on Israel. I highlighted in particular the silence of the Evangelical Lutheran Church In America, the denomination to which I belonged for nearly all my life.
That silence, unfortunately, didn’t last. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton eventually produced a statement that is stunning in its moral perversity:
As Lutherans, we are accustomed to holding tension between two truths. [Ed.: I have no idea what this means.] Thus the ELCA denounces the egregious acts of Hamas, acts that have led to unspeakable loss of life and hope. At the same time the ELCA denounces the indiscriminate retaliation of Israel against the Palestinian people, both Christian and Muslim.
So the two sides are on a par. But it gets worse:
For the past week we have borne witness to the horrors of the escalating crisis between Israel and Hamas. We also watch a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza as Israel blocks food, water, fuel and medical supplies and as airstrikes continue to cause unbearable civilian casualties ahead of a just-announced ground assault.
Mass murder, torture, kidnapping, rape, the beheading of babies: these things are never actually named. Only Israel’s righteous response is itemized. This is the worst of all:
We must also call a thing a thing. The power exerted against all Palestinian people — through the occupation…
Gaza is not occupied and has not been for some time. The “occupation” apparently consists of the fact that Israel occupies territory that the Palestinians covet.
…the expansion of settlements and the escalating violence — must be called out as a root cause of what we are witnessing.
There you have it: the “root cause” of the Palestinians’ murderous rampage, one of the most vicious in the sad history of the human race, is the fact of Israel’s existence. If the ELCA dissents from Hamas’s position that Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth, such dissent is absent from the Presiding Bishop’s statement. Frankly, I think the ELCA is on Hamas’s side.
Shame on the ELCA and the many other “mainstream” organizations and institutions who have failed the simplest possible moral test.
By the way: speaking of “calling a thing a thing”? I call the Presiding Bishop’s statement a grotesque instance of anti-Semitism.